Congratulations, you are listening, as it turns out, to the Station of the Year.
You most likely already thought that, but now it's official. As of last night's annual New Zealand Radio Awards, Newstalk ZB has won the coveted Station of the Year award.
It was particularly significant for a couple of reasons. It never hurts to officially be the best in the business. It came out of our Covid coverage, a time that had never been seen before in this country. And a time when we had never seen so many people tune into the station looking for information, insight, to have questions answered, reassurance delivered, and for a few people to be held to account.
It also cemented what has been happened to radio in general for several years now. It's never been in better health.
More and more people every year access this medium to get whatever it is they need; music, ideas, debate, fun, connection, or a sense of community.
While so much of the media is in some form of upheaval, and Covid didn’t help that either, radio is the little communications tool that could, did, and does. The sheer brilliance of the simplicity of the medium in an increasingly complex world has never been in more demand and never been more widely used.
We all know the trouble newspapers are in, we all see the battle that television has in terms of linear versus pay-per-view versus streaming. It's battling the buying and selling of products, services and content in the changing face and behaviour of the consumer.
But for radio, for all that’s changed and is changing, yes you listen via app, and you can listen to bits on demand or via podcast, but for all of that, the fundamentals haven't changed a bit. Because, despite what they will tell you, fundamentally we haven't changed much ourselves.
A good idea is still welcome, debate is still fun, disagreement is still part of social engagement, we still have questions, we still want answers, we still love a laugh, and we still admire a personality.
You're still driving to work and driving home again the same way you always have, except it takes longer, so you're listening more.
Having been in this game for 40 years, I still do today what I started in January of 1982. Possibly slightly more polished but you're the judge of that.
Like all industries, talent and recruitment is a growing issue, but there is still plenty of brilliance to be found on the dial.
Radio is still the king, and for this year anyway, Newstalk ZB is king of radio, and we couldn't be prouder.